There are misconceptions about what surrogacy is all about. Society is often misinformed and even more often uninformed. We, as a surrogacy community are a tight group. We're extremely supportive of one another simply because we understand. We get it. It is a personal goal of mine to do my part to help others "get it." Won't you join me?
Some people are always up for an argument. They have strong beliefs and would like nothing more than for you to feel badly about the fact that you don't share their beliefs. Other people (usually close friends and family) are truly concerned for your physical or mental well being. I have composed a list of tips - things that I've found helpful when speaking with others about becoming a surrogate or about surrogacy in general.
Enter the conversation with strength and pride
It's difficult for others to find fault or want to argue with you if they can see how passionate you are about surrogacy.
Some people will likely be concerned for you, both physically and emotionally. This is understandable and acceptable. Share with them that you've considered and researched both the physical and emotional pieces and that you are confident in your decision. Provide them with plenty of information so that you can reassure them of your physical and emotional health.
Be open and knowledgeable
Not many people know about or understand how surrogacy really works. Share with them EVERYTHING you know. Show them what a beautiful thing surrogacy is. Address ALL of their questions and concerns calmly. They will likely have a lot of pre-conceived notions and assumptions. Let them know that you'll answer all of their questions - whenever they have them. If you don't know the answers to their questions, tell them you'll find out. You can refer them to places online where they can learn more about surrogacy. Show them what surrogacy truly looks like.
Never become defensive or engage in an argument
This may be the most important piece of all. If you stay calm, the other person is more likely to be willing to hear you speak. That being said, it's ok for you to leave the discussion if the other person remains unsupportive. If you leave with your grace and dignity intact, trust me when I say that you have made a HUGE statement to that person. Most importantly, leave the conversation with the same confidence as when you entered it. At the very least, you've educated, and education is half the battle.
In order to have an impact on the current misconceptions, assumptions and lack of knowledge, we must be willing to talk about what it is we do. Talking is a hugely important piece of society. It's how we communicate and express ourselves, and talking plays a crucial role in educating others. Don't believe me? Just ask these two: